Crvena Jabuka Overview

Crvena jabuka is a Sarajevo-based pop band that originated in 1985, and since then has remained very po***r. They were also a part of the so called New Primitives movement that occurred in the 1980s in the Former Yugoslavia territory.

Of the different lineups the band has gone through only two of the band's members managed to stay ever since the beginning: drummer Darko Jelčić, and vocalist Dražen Žerić-Žera who in the beginning played keyboards and sometimes sang backup vocals, but then switched to main vocals when Dražen Ričl died. The other two members that had remained in the band's lineup after the 1990s were Nikša Bratoš, and Krešimir Kaštelan. Guitarists were also changed and a new keyboard player was recruited as well in 2002.

Around the time of their 20th Anniversary, the band started to lose their po***rity. To compensate for this two farewell concerts were organized that year.

During the war Yugoslav wars the band was stationed in Zagreb, and underwent a long hiatus.


The 80s

Crvena jabuka, which means "Red Apple", was founded in 1985. The first line-up of the band consisted of drummer Darko Jelcic, lead guitarist/singer Drazen Ricl "Zijo", bassist Aljosa Buha, rhythm guitarist/lead songwritter Zlatko Arslanagic "Zlaja", and keyboardist/vocalist Drazen Zeric "Zera." They released theirself titled debut album Crvena jabuka (album) is issued in 1986, and was an instant success. This had the first singles on it "Bježi kišo s prozora", "S tvojih usana", and "Dirlija". The band quickly gained po***rity all over former Yugoslavia, and on September 18, 1986 the band headed to Mostar for a promotional concert, and suffered a car accident that claimed the lives of two members. - Dražen Ričl and Aljoša Buha.

In tribute of this tragic moment, a concert was done in Skenderija palace Skenderija in Sarajevo in which musicians and bands from all generations performed. Crvena jabuka would end with their work.

Because the material for 1987's "Za sve ove godine" was already ready, the band decided to first record that before undergoing a one-year hiatus. The band decided to stay a trio with Drazen Zeric (who originally sang backup vocals) taking on lead vocal duties. Guitarist Zlatko Arslanagic also switched to mostly lead/bass guitar, and Darko Jelcic decided to remain on drums. Next to him, Zeric was the only original member present in the band. Also, as the 1987 album was meant to be a tribute to the late Ricl and Buha, there were no promo ads. Nor was there a tour because of the requests of the band members.

It was, however, 1988's Sanjati that proved the band's commercial success. While the album was recorded in the same fashion as Za sve ove godine, the band brought in two more musicians, bassist Srdan Serberdia, and keyboardist Zlatko Volarevic. This allowed Zera to focous primarily on vocals, and Zlaja to go to just lead guitar. The album sold 250,000 copies, and following its release, Crvena Jabuka embarked on a 180 concert tour.

The band made some major changes during the recording of Sanjati. First, the band worked in Rockoko studios in Zagreb. They would record every future album there. Secondly, the band dropped producer Zeljko Brodinac (who had produced their first two albums), and got Niksa Bratos. (Niksa would eventually be inducted as another full-time member, and the third long-standing member next to Jelcic and Zeric.) Not only was Bratos a producer, but a multi-instrumentalist. He could put all the band's ideas to work, and even did string arrangements. He would be put on rhythm guitar, and would also play many woodwind instruments on future albums.

January 1989 was when the recording contract for the band's fourth album called Tamo gdje ljubav počinje was signed. Serberdia, having grown tired of touring with the band, quit right after the first session so was replaced by professional guitarist/bassist Branko Salka. Immediately after this release, a tour took place. During the tour Niksa Bratos was not available, but suggested a good friend of his, Igor Ivanovic. The significant moment was at the Sports Arena in Zagreb Dom sportova where a double album was recorded live called "Uzmi me (kad hoćeš ti)".

The 90s

In 1991, the band released their fifth studio album. This album was titled Nekako s' Proljeća, and had the singles "Moje najmilije", "Da nije ljubavi", and the title cut which has Kemal Monteno as a guest. This would be the first time that Jabuka has contributed with another singer. For this album, Niksa Bratos was once again replaced. This time, by former bassist Srdan Serberdia's father, Zoran Serberdia.

A tour was meant to happen, but it was never done due to the wars in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. After this album, Zlatko Arslanagić left the band and eventually moved to Toronto. Žera opened his new cafe in Sarajevo called "Broj jedan" (Number one). Even the remaining members parted ways. Niksa moved to Zagreb (and so would the rest of the band eventually), Igor Ivanovic to Germany, and Zoran Serberdia to Macedonia Macedonia (country) . Furthermore, Croatia Records released, in 1993, an 18-hit compilation entitled Ima Nesto od Srca do Srca. The album was put into chronological order, but for unknown reasons, omitted both "Bjezi Kiso s' Prozora", and a cover of Bacila je sve niz Rijeku (a hit for Indexi in 1974). This album would, in 2005, be re-released but dubbed Zlatna Kolekcija. It would include the two said songs that were previously omitted, and also be in chronological order with 20 songs more than this one.

In the fall of 1994, Cunja, and Zera both relocated to Zagreb to re-unite with Niksa Bratos who now was to play on every album, and attend most shows. A backing vocals trio of Darija Hodnik, Jana Nemacek, and Mirza Treterac was established to the band, and so were three more members: guitarist Mario Vukcevic-Jimmy, bassist Kresmir Kastelan "Kreso" (4th long-standing member), and keyboard player Danijel Lastric. There was a big tour once again covering: Macedonia, Czechia, Austria, Germany, and Armenia, and of course, the former Yugoslavia countries.

With this new lineup, the band released their next album in 1996 called U tvojim očima. This album featured two guests as well as various authors of songs including Saša Lošić of Plavi orkestar. Immediately a tour went of all over including: Zagreb, Tuzla, Mostar, and Sarajevo.

In 1998, yet another studio album was released titled Svijet je lopta šarena. This was another best selling album of the band. In that same year they recorded their next live album simply called "LIVE", and in 1999, Crvena jabuka released an unplugged album called Riznice sjećanja.

2000 to Present Day

In 2000, the band went on a new chapter with their next studio album entitled Sve Što Sanjam. On this album the band had the hit singles "Ti si lijepa", "Tvoga Srca Vrata", the title track, "Ni Zadnji Ni Prvi", and another good hit "Niko nije lud da spava".

In 2002, Crvena jabuka returned with Tvojim Željama Vođen. After releasing this album, guitarist Zlatko Bebek, and keyboard player Danijel Lastrić left the band. The replacements were Marko Bjelić on keyboards, and Damir Gonz on guitar.

In 2005, Žera reformed the band. The result was Oprosti Što Je Ljubavna. With this album, the band started to lose its po***rity. However, a 20th anniversary concert was held on April 24, 2005.

2005 also saw the release of an updated hit singles collection that the band called Zlatna Kolekcija. It contained hits from 1986 to 2002.

In 2007, Crvena jabuka announced yet another album called Duša Sarajeva. The album has 11 new songs.

During the time of 2007-2008 the band was mostly doing concerts touring Canada and USA United States . Cities covered were Toronto, Ontario in Canada, and in the US: Chicago, Detroit, and most lately there is talk of coming to Seattle on 6 June. Concerts are also expected to happen in Calgary, Alberta, and in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Singer Dražen Žerić-Žera got married just a couple months ago, which is the reason for the band's upcoming album entitled Volim Te , which has songs more in the style of the old Crvena Jabuka rather than what they've showed in Oprosti što je ljubavna and Duša Sarajeva .
Studio albums

* Crvena Jabuka Crvena Jabuka (album) (The Red Apple) March 22, 1986
* Za sve ove godine (For All These Years), 1987
* Sanjati (To Dream) June 6, 1988
* Tamo gdje ljubav počinje (Where the Love Begins), January, 1989
* Nekako s' proljeća (In the Springtime), 1991
* U tvojim očima (In Your Eyes) November 17, 1996
* Svijet je lopta sarena (The World Is a Colourful Ball), 1998
* Sve sto sanjam (Everything I Dream), 2000
* Tvojim zeljama voden (Led By Your Wishes), 2002
* Oprosti sto je ljubavna pjesma (Forgive Me for This Love Song), 2005
* Duša Sarajeva (The Soul of Sarajevo), 2007
* Volim Te (I Love You), 2009

Live albums

* Uzmi me (kad hoćeš ti) Take me (When You Want To) 1990
* LIVE LIVE (Crvena jabuka album) 1998
* Riznice sjećanja-unplugged 1999


* Ima nešto od srca do srca (There Is Something from Heart to Heart) 1993
* Moje najmilije (My Dearest) 1996
* Antologija (Anthology) 2003
* Zlatna kolekcija (The Golden Collection) 2005
* Da Nije Ljubavi - 25 Godina

'April 1985-18 September 1986'

*Dražen Ričl Zijo - lead guitar, singer/lead vocals
*Zlatko Arslanagić Zlaja - rhythm guitar
*Aljoša Buha - bass guitar
*Darko Jelčić Cunja - drums
*Dražen Žerić Žera - keyboards, synthesizers, singer/vocals


*Dražen Žerić Žera - harmonica/accordion, recorder, keyboards, singer/lead vocals
*Zlatko Arslanagić Zlaja - acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, percussion, vocals
*Darko Jelčić Cunja - drums, percussion

'late 1987-1988'

*Dražen Žerić Žera - vocals
*Zlatko Arslanagić Zlaja - lead guitar, rhythm guitar, vocals
*Srđan Šerbedžija - bass guitar
*Zlatko Volarević Dilajla - keyboards
*Darko Jelčić Cunja - drums, percussion

'1988 - 1989'

*Dražen Žerić Žera - vocals, (keyboards in studio)
*Zlatko Arslanagić Zlaja - rhythm guitar
*Srđan Šerbedžija - bass guitar
*Zlatko Volarević Dilajla - keyboards
* Nikša Bratoš - lead guitar, mandolin, saxophone, melodica, vocals
*Darko Jelčić Cunja - percussion, drums

'1989 - 1990'

*Dražen Žerić Žera - vocals
*Zlatko Arslanagić Zlaja - Rhythm guitar
*Branko Sauka Bane - bass guitar
*Zlatko Volarević Dilajla - keyboards
*Nikša Bratoš - lead guitar, mandolin, saxophone, melodica, vocals
*Darko Jelčić Cunja - drums, percussion


*Dražen Žerić Žera - vocals
*Zlatko Arslanagić Zlaja - rhythm guitar, vocals
*Branko Sauka Bane - bass guitar
*Zlatko Volarević Dilajla - keyboards
*Igor Ivanović - lead guitar
*Darko Jelčić Cunja - drums, percussion


*Dražen Žerić Žera - vocals
*Zlatko Arslanagić Zlaja - rhythm guitar, percussion
*Branko Sauka Bane - bass guitar
*Zlatko Volarević Dilajla - keyboards
*Zoran Šerbedžija Zoka - lead guitar
*Nikša Bratoš - Lead guitar, rhythm guitar, mandolin, saxophone, melodica, percussion, vocals
*Darko Jelčić Cunja - drums, percussion

'1991 - 1994'

*on hiatus

'1994 - 1996'

*Dražen Žerić Žera - vocals
*Mario Vukčević Jimmi - lead guitar
*Krešimir Kaštelan Krešo - bass guitar
*Nikša Bratoš - rhythm guitar, harmonica/accordion, clarinet, percussion, vocals
*Darko Jelčić Cunja - drums
*Danijel Lastrić - keyboards, vocals

'1996 - 1998'

*Dražen Žerić Žera - vocals
*Saša Zalepugin - lead guitar
*Kresmir Kastelan - bass
*Darko Jelcic - drums
*Niksa Bratos - rhythm guitar, harmonica, clarinet, saxophone, violin, vocals, percussion
*Danijel Lastric - keyboards


*Drazen Zeric - vocals
*Zlatko Bebek - lead guitar
*Kresmir Kastelan - bass
*Darko Jelcic - drums, percussion
*Niksa Bratos - guitar, vocals, clarient, violin, mandolin, percussion
*Danijel Lastric - keyboards


*Drazen Zeric - vocals
*Damir Gonz - lead guitar
*Kresmir Kastelan - bass
*Darko Jelcic - drums, percussion
*Niksa Bratos - guitar, harmonica, clarinet, mandolin, percussion, vocals
*Josip Andric - keyboards


*Drazen Zeric - vocals
*Damir Gonz - lead guitar
*Kresmir Kastelan - bass
*Darko Jelcic - drums, percussion
*Niksa Bratos - guitar, percussion, mandolin, violin, vocals
*Marko Belosevic - keyboards


*Drazen Zeric - vocals
*Damir Gonz - guitar, percussion, vocals
*Kresmir Kastelan - bass, guitar
*Darko Jelcic - drums* The 1988 song "Sviđa mi se ova stvar" (I Like This Thing) has a guitar riff that was po***r in the Los Lobos' song "La Bamba La Bamba (song) ". Its lyrics are also set to the tune of the Beatles' tune "Twist and Shout".
* The guitar solo in "Ako, ako" is almost identical to Magazine's Magazine (band) "Shot by Both Sides" lead guitar line and chorus guitar line in Buzzcocks' song "Lipstick" as well.
* The 1989 hit single "Tuga ti i ja" (Sadness, You and I) has a beginning piano and guitar sample from Journey Journey (band) 's song "Who's Crying Now".
* The 1991 hit single "Moje najmilije" (My Dearest) has a harmonica riff which was sampled from Supertramp. The song that it was sampled from is unknown.
*The band's name was derived from when Darko Jelčić brought a red apple to one of the band's meetings.
*On their unplugged acoustic music concert in 1999, Crvena jabuka samples a guitar riff from Carlos Santana's song "Oye Como Va", and uses it during a break of the song "Ima nešto od srca do srca" (There is Something from Heart to Heart)
* The beginning riff from the song "Ti znaš" has an almost identical riff as U2's song "Bad Bad (U2 song) ".
* Their 1996 song "Deni" which is the B-side to "Sanjam te" starts with guitar notes similar to Deep Purple's song "Smoke on the Water".
* Many of their earlier songs are in the style of the music from the English band Dire Straits . One example is their hit song "Riznice sjecanja" , which sounds almost identical to Straits' song "Why Worry"
* Many accuse Crvena Jabuka's singer, Drazen Zeric - Zera of being "anti-Serbian", when in fact he admits in multiple interviews that he is not anti-Serbian, but anti-extremist (anti-Chetnik, anti-Ustaše, anti-Mudžahedin). In the Chicago concert on May 15, 2008 he only gave one autograph at the end of the concert, that autograph was to a 16 year old Serbian fan (same fan that re-did songs "Uzmi Me", "Tuga Ti i Ja", and many more on YouTube. On YouTube he goes by the name of "idolfan06".)
* The song "Čuvaj Se" from their newest album entitled "Volim Te" shares some similarities with Coldplay's song "Viva La Vida".
* The song "Godinama" from their newest album entitled "Volim Te" is a remake of Queen Queen (band) 's song "You Don't Fool Me".
* The song "Napiši jednu ljubavnu" has the "Godfather" theme based melody in around 1:40 mark.


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